Softball: Divine meeting helped Marist turn season's tide

Story Image Marist pitcher Kristin Klutcharch. | File photo

Updated: June 6, 2012 8:39PM

In a softball postseason filled with upsets and unexpected twists, Marist has fit right in.

The RedHawks finished just 9-9 in the East Suburban Catholic Conference and were 15-15 late in the regular season. But Marist (25-15) came into the postseason on a roll and hasn’t slowed down since, winning 10 straight.

“We had a meeting in the chapel [in mid-May] and we all agreed to start over,” Marist coach Denise Bromberek said. “Since then they have worked together as a team and really hard at practice. ”

That winning streak reached 10 after an impressive 8-3 win over Trinity in the Rosemont Supersectional, which followed a 4-3 win over rival Mother McAuley in the Sandburg Sectional final on Saturday. Up next for the RedHawks is Elk Grove (31-8) in Friday’s 2:30 p.m. Class 4A state semifinal at EastSide Centre in East Peoria.

The Grenadiers are led by hard-throwing Michigan State recruit Dani Goranson (26-7). Goranson had 11 strikeouts in a 4-1 supersectional win over Jacobs and is capable of shutting down any offense.

The winner of the Elk Grove-Marist game will play the winner of a 5 p.m. Friday semifinal between Bartlett (31-8) and defending 4A champ Moline (30-10). Moline knocked off powerful St. Charles North 9-8 last season in one of the wildest state title games ever.

Bartlett, which is led by the methodical but productive pitching of senior Tori Burke (20-6), has had just enough pitching, hitting and defense to earn its berth.

Moline’s offense will present a challenge for Burke. “She takes her time and really concentrates on hitting her spots,” Bartlett coach Jim Wolfsmith said. “She is a very intelligent pitcher and really thinks her way through everything.”

In Class 3A, defending champ Marengo (35-5) will take on first-time state finalist Providence (28-12) at 9:30 a.m. Friday. Glenbard South (34-4), assured of its fourth state trophy in five seasons, will meet Mattoon (35-3) in Friday’s noon semifinal.

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